Newly discovered species of ants named after the dragons from Game of Thrones #GoT


Via All That Is Interesting

If you recognize the scientific names of two new ant species discovered in the South Pacific — Pheidole drogon and Pheidole viserion — it’s because they are indeed named for the Game of Thrones dragons they so resemble.

Were you to read the discovery paper recently published in PLOS ONE, you’d be inundated with disorienting facts and figures until you reached the bottom, where you’d find two blurbs unlike anything you’d usually find in a science journal:

[Pheidole viserion] Etymology: The species name refers to Viserion, the cream and gold colored dragon of Daenerys Targaryen, a fictional character from the George R. R. Martin’s novel A Song of Ice and Fire.

[Pheidole drogon] Etymology: The species name refers to Drogon, the black-colored dragon of Daenerys Targaryen, a fictional character from the George R. R. Martin’s novel A Song of Ice and Fire.

When research team member Evan Economo noticed the ants’ coloring, as well as their spines resembling both wings and claws, he knew there was only one way to name these new creatures.

But these ants’ unique spines suggest more than their zeitgeist-catching names. While the working theory had long been that ant spines were used for defense, the new research suggests that these ants’ spines are used for something different altogether.

The researchers correctly hypothesized that the spines evolved differently in two different castes of these ants: major workers (who do most of the colony’s work) and minor workers (who do less). Major workers’ spines evolved in a certain way so as to support a greater musculature capable of supporting their abnormally large heads, which are used to break up large food sources to be spread among the colony.

Read more.

Join 4,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Learn “How Computers Work” with Bill Gates, Ladyada and more – From Code.org !

CircuitPython in 2018 – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

Maker Business — Prototyping PCBs with Particle, a guide from a pro in the field #makerbusiness

Wearables — Learn about stretch

Electronics — Even lower power!

Biohacking — Nectome’s Brain Preservation and Backup Service Plan

Python for Microcontrollers — Scott ([email protected]) on the Amp Hour podcast!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.